Some odd stuff has happened in Vancouver's past. Here's a sampling (click to view):

· 1792 to 1899
· 1900 to 1922
· 1923 to 1930
· 1931 to 1935
· 1936 to 1940
· 1941 to 1946
· 1947 to 1954
· 1955 to 1960
· 1961 to 1965

From 1947 to 1954

For more details on these items see the Chronology for the year cited.

  • On February 1, 1947 Bob Smith made his debut as host of the CBC radio show Hot Air. Virtually all the jazz recordings Bob played were from his own collection. He would host Hot Air out of the CBC’s Vancouver studios for 35 years. Hot Air—the host today is Paul Grant—is still going, Canada’s longest-running radio program.
  • On May 10, 1947 Vancouver school children circulated a petition calling for an end to wartime taxes on candy. In response, the price of chocolate bars was lowered from eight cents to seven cents
  • Not strictly local, but irresistible. In August, 1947 a Mayne Island woman cut open a fish and found a photograph of “a beautiful woman” in the fish’s belly.
  • On November 14, 1947 Vancouver’s William Munavish, safecracker, became the first Canadian to be declared an habitual criminal.
  • In 1947, a nurse named Elizabeth Clarke, at the Vancouver Hospital for Crippled Children, loved to read stories and poems to her little charges. One young boy was excited at seeing a sparrow on the windowsill by his bed, and that inspired Ms. Clarke to write the poem Bluebird on Your Windowsill. She later set it to music and it became a huge hit, recorded by the Rhythm Pals, Doris Day, Bing Crosby and many others. Ms. Clarke donated all the proceeds to the hospital.
  • On September 20, 1948 singer Bing Crosby came to Vancouver to record his radio show. Before the show Crosby was made a full-blooded Indian ‘Chief.’ The Squamish tribe made him an honorary member with the title ‘Chief Thunder Voice.’
  • At one 1948 performance at TUTS (Theatre Under The Stars) singer Karl Norman was one of the stars of the operetta Naughty Marietta. The power failed during one of his songs! “The orchestra kept playing,” Karl says, “and I kept singing, and people from the audience lined up their cars at the back of Malkin Bowl and lit the performance with their headlights.”
  • In 1948 60,000 daffodil bulbs were planted along Stanley Park Causeway, a gift to the city from the Netherlands to thank Canadian soldiers for helping to liberate their country from the Nazis.
  • In 1948 a ‘new disc jockey’ contest was launched in Vancouver and judged by, among others, Frank Sinatra. Jennie Wong won, and began a half-hour Saturday afternoon program called Jennie's Juke Joint on CKMO. Besides being the first Chinese-Canadian disc jockey, she was also the first female.
  • On August 15, 1949 radio’s Jack Cullen, who was switching stations, did his last show at CKMO and his first show at CKNW at the same time. He had taped his ’MO show earlier, did his ’NW show live.
  • On August 21, 1949 the biggest quake in BC’s recorded history, 8.1 on the Richter scale, occurred off the Queen Charlotte Islands. Its major force was felt to the uninhabited west of the Queen Charlotte Islands and damage was minimal. The Province reported on Page One that a clock had stopped in the home of Mrs. Laurie Sanders, Imperial Street in Burnaby.
  • On November 27, 1949 the Capilano River, swollen by a violent rainstorm, swept away a large section of Marine Drive, the only road link at the time to West Vancouver. Washed away as well was part of the bridge over the Capilano . . . West Vancouver would be cut off for 10 days!
  • On August 29, 1950 workers from a company called Eccles-Rand Limited checked out Vancouver's first atomic bomb shelter, which their firm had built in an unidentified Shaughnessy backyard.
  • In January 1952 famed singer Paul Robeson, en route to a concert in Vancouver, was stopped by US border officials at Blaine. He was denied entry to Canada on political grounds. Local unions organized a free outdoor concert starring Robeson at the Peace Arch, and it attracted 25,000 people on the Canadian side, 5,000 on the U.S. side.
  • A 1952 Hollywood movie titled Hurricane Smith starred two Vancouver-born actors, Yvonne De Carlo and John Ireland.
  • In 1952 Vancouver city council approved the naming of several city streets after famous golf courses. That gave us Seigniory, Leaside, Uplands, Bonnacord, Scarboro, Bonnyvale, Brigadoon and Bobolink.
  • On January 6, 1953 Vancouver's longest wet spell began. It ended 29 days later. There had been recorded rain on every one of those 29 days.
  • On January 16, 1953 police raided the Avon Theatre on Hastings Street, presenting Erskine Caldwell’s play Tobacco Road, and arrested the cast on charges of an indecent performance.
  • On June 3, 1953 the first broadcast of the brand-new TV station KVOS, in Bellingham, Washington, was a kinescope of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II the day before. For the interesting story of how the station got the kinescope, see our 1953 chronology.
  • On July 9, 1953 the Davis Cup tournament, the “world championship” of tennis opened at the Vancouver Lawn and Tennis Club. The club was chosen because the Japanese team insisted on playing on grass courts, and none were available in the U.S.
  • On September 8, 1953 Vancouver impresario Lily Laverock sent a brief (14 line) bio to the papers. “It occurred to me that I might have some small obituary notice, and to have it correct, perhaps you could file this away for future use. Best thanks to all, L.J. Laverock.” She died 16 years later: December 2, 1969.
  • On October 12, 1953 Vancouver’s Frank Ogden—better known these days as Dr. Tomorrow—established the Canadian light-plane altitude record by flying a Mooney M-18 Scotsman to an altitude of 19,400 feet. With a conventional internal combustion engine, he set this “impossible” record by flying up until he ran out of gas and then gliding back. “It took place,” Ogden once elaborated, “out of the Toronto Island Airport. The record has never been broken. Mainly, I suspect because most pilots are sensible enough to want 20 to 30 gallons of gas left in the tanks to get back. I flew up until I ran out of gas and glided back to the same airport.”
  • On December 2, 1953 the Province reported (on the front page): “Bill Stone, 525 East Keith Road, North Vancouver, got his perfect cribbage hand the hard way Tuesday night. Playing with neighbor Bob MacKay, Stone had a king, pair of aces and a four in his hand as well as two fives. So he tossed the fives into his crib. MacKay had 6-7-8-8 and a five and a jack of spades. He threw the five and jack into the crib, the five of spades was cut and thus Stone had his perfect 29 hand."
  • On February 12, 1954 the first “civilian” to drive over the brand new Granville Street Bridge was the same woman who was first to drive over the second bridge when it was new in 1909. She had been widowed in between the two openings, and so had a different name . . . but both times she was at the wheel of a brand-new Cadillac!
  • On July 21, 1954, with landscaping on the largest quarry at the future Queen Elizabeth Park completed., Mayor Fred Hume buried a time capsule beneath Centuries Rock in the park. It is to be opened in 2054.
  • On August 1, 1954 cabbie Dave King, driving for B.C. Radio Cabs, was taking a young woman to West Vancouver. When the cab slowed in traffic on the Lions Gate Bridge, she jumped out and, to King's horror, began climbing the railing. He raced over, dragged her to safety, shoved her in the car, and raced back to her West End address. The would-be suicide paid her fare, he told police later that day, and even tipped him 50 cents.
  • In 1954 the stuffed form of the late “No Drone, No. 5H” was presented by the Whiting family to the Langley Museum. “No Drone”was a hen from the Whiting farm in Surrey, who had set a world record in 1930 for the number of eggs laid in that one year: 357.

1955 to 1960 »